Iddat case verdict to be out on May 29

Judge Shah Rukh Arjumand reserves order after hearing arguments of Imran, Bushra, prosecution

Fiaz Mahmood May 23, 2024
Former first lady Bushra Bibi (L) and former prime minister Imran Khan (R). PHOTO: FILE


An appellate court has reserved its decision on the appeals filed by former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi against their conviction in a case concerning their marriage during the iddat period. The court will unveil the verdict on May 29.

During the hearing of the case in the court of Islamabad District and Sessions Judge Shah Rukh Arjumand, Bushra Bibi's lawyer, Usman Riaz Gill, argued that Bushra’s former husband Khawar Maneka filed a complaint against the couple after a significant delay of six years.

He stated that initially, an unknown individual, Muhammad Hanif, filed a complaint, accusing Imran and Bushra of marrying without the completion of Bushra’s mandatory iddat period. Gill noted that Muhammad Hanif did not appear in the trial court and had no connection to the case.

In May 2023, a district and sessions court in Islamabad declared Hanif's petition inadmissible. According to Gill, Maneka later filed a similar petition through the same counsel, Raja Rizwan Abbasi Advocate, who had filed the first plea.

“The court has to examine evidence from both complaints. During the trial, some questions were posed to Mufti Muhammad Saeed—the cleric who solemnized Imran’s marriage with Bushra on January 1, 2018—to clarify his role,” he added.

Gill said the allegation is that the second marriage took place during the iddat period following a divorce. However, the document presented to the court was a photocopy. He provided guidelines to the court on determining the authenticity of the document.

He asserted that by the time the complaint was filed, the iddat period had already been completed, making the marriage lawful. He also claimed that Prosecutor Rana Hasan Abbas was transferred the day after revealing these facts. He said Bushra Bibi, in her statement, mentioned the divorce occurred in April 2017, and she completed the iddat period before remarrying.

Read Imran, wife indicted in marriage case

Defending the trial court’s order, Deputy District Prosecutor Adnan Ali argued that completing the iddat period is essential for the validity of the marriage.

He mentioned that Khawar Maneka and Bushra Bibi were happily married for 28 years with five children until PTI's founder interfered in their lives, leading to the divorce. “Maneka intended to reconcile, but Bushra Bibi remarried during the iddat period.”

He said the defense did not present videos of Maneka's daughters as they were against Bushra Bibi’s marriage to Imran. Ali pointed out that according to Bushra Bibi's statement, the divorce occurred verbally in April, but there were no witnesses to confirm this.

He remarked that Bushra Bibi showed no remorse over the end of her 28-year marriage. The court later reserved its decision on the appeals. The verdict will be announced on May 29.

A judicial magistrate on February 3 sentenced Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi to seven years imprisonment in the iddat case. Senior civil judge Qudratullah, while announcing a reserved verdict, also imposed a Rs500,000 fine each on the PTI founding chairman and his wife.

Maneka, in his complaint, had alleged that Bushra violated the Islamic practice of observing the mandatory pause, or iddat, before marrying Imran. He had also accused his ex-wife and Imran of having an adulterous relationship before their marriage. Iddat is a mandatory waiting period that a Muslim woman must observe on account of the death of her husband or the dissolution of the marriage.



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